Brad Keselowski dominates, wins at New Hampshire

Kevin Harvick beats Denny Hamlin to the finish line to win the 2019 Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 at New Hampshire Motor Speedway

Keselowski came to New Hampshire Motor Speedway for Sunday's Foxwoods Resort Casino 301 sitting second in the series standings with a pair of wins over the first 19 races this year.

The two swapped stage wins and held the lead a combined 18 times before Keselowski claimed his third victory since the sport returned from the pandemic shutdown, along with the now-traditional prize of an 18-pound, live lobster.

Brad Keselowski basked in the adulation of the enthusiastic crowd of 12,000 race fans, who chanted his name "Brad!" As the race wound down, Hamlin took to his team radio to express how great he felt the racing was between he and Keselowski. "We could really do well on restarts, and we were going back-and-forth". I felt like we were right there. "I hope you stay safe and thank you for being here".

Hamlin ran second to Keselowski the rest of the way to finish second.

"It was fun racing those guys". Really proud of my team and effort they gave today. "We just have to figure out how to get a little bit better here".

Expectations matched reality Sunday for Martin Truex Jr. Joey Logano was then fourth, followed by Kevin Harvick in fifth.

"He's been pretty grumpy, to be honest with you", Truex said with a chuckle when asked on a Zoom press conference about Busch voicing any frustrations in team meetings. "Fortunately, we were able to come back from it".

"I blew a right-front tire for some reason", Busch said after being released from the infield care center. Cup Series teams were also running the high-horsepower, low downforce (small spoiler) rules package, which NASCAR officials put in place for road courses and short-tracks this season.

"Denny and I had a heck of a driver battle".

LaJoie has also found success at New Hampshire in NASCAR's K&N Pro Series in 2016 by leading 34 of the 72 laps to net his sixth win in the series. Fans were required to wear masks when making their way around the track but could remove them in their seats.

Hamlin and Keselowski were the stage winners.

Keselowski restarted third when racing resumed for the final time with 83 to go, taking only two laps after the restart to get to Hamlin's inside and grab the point position for good. No other driver led more than 10 laps.

Keselowski appeared to get the worst of a preseason staffing shuffle when he got the least accomplished of the three Penske crew chiefs.

Keselowski took his race-winning lead on lap 221.

"We've had a lot of great races with the (No.) 2 auto, but we just hadn't really gone out and dominated a race", Keselowski told NBC Sports.

"Everything's been good. I've had a good career, but I thought we needed a kick in the ass and Jeremy and this whole team has been a kick in the butt for me to make me a little bit better and push me to find another level".

Johnson, who has said this will be his a year ago as a full-time Cup driver, was presented with a replica Revolutionary War musket as a parting gift, and "Thanks Jimmie 48" was painted on the inner wall. Tyler Reddick finished 10th. Both were found to have improperly mounted weight ballasts during pre-race inspection and were forced to start in the rear.



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